The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has hampered the growth of local economies throughout the country, and while the town of Danville is no exception, town officials say that despite looming $5 million budget cuts, its forthcoming operating budget overall still shows a responsible budget with bright future prospects.
During a meeting of the Danville Town Council on Tuesday, town officials will gather to review the town's upcoming 2020-21 budget, which is forecasted to include $34,354,793 in total revenues and $32,157,373 in total expenditures.
"Despite the significant negative fiscal impacts associated with the current pandemic, the town's overall financial condition continues to be positive. The 2020/2021 budget is balanced, while providing quality services that address the highest priority community needs," Danville Town Manager Joe Calabrigo said in a staff report.
While Danville's financial future is projected to stay sustainable, Calabrigo did acknowledge that the town has not been immune to the economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, according to Calabrigo after anticipating a loss in revenue of $2.2 million for the remainder of the 2019-20 fiscal year, the Town Council will consider issuing $5 million in budget cuts during its Tuesday meeting.
If approved by the council, the $5 million in reductions would result in the town eliminating merit-based pay increases and overtime pay for town employees as well as freezing the filling of several available positions, among a number of other reductions.
"Service level reductions are expected in police services, development services, maintenance services and recreation, arts and community services as a result of expenditure reductions resulting from lost revenues attributed to the pandemic," Calabrigo said.
Previous budget cuts proposed to the council ranged from $2 million to $7 million, however town staff did note that the $5 million reduction represented the best course of action.
Calabrigo did add however, that economic recovery to a pre-pandemic level is expected to return in four years.
"Recovery-wise, the forecast shows sales tax gas tax and Measure J return to source revenues return to their pre-COVID levels within four years. Recreation fees and charges recover by the third year and other revenues recover sooner," he said, further adding that the 10-year forecast looks sustainable.
"The town has no unfriended liabilities related to employee pension or medical costs, and ten-year forecasts for 2020/2021 through 2029/2030 illustrate that the town is continuing on a course that continues to be fiscally sustainable while operating at a minimally reduced service levels," he added.
The Danville Town Council is set to convene for a special meeting on its 2020/2021 operating budget via teleconferencing application Zoom at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Interested residents can view the meeting live or via recording on the town's website or live on Zoom using the Webinar ID: 811 3425 1159. For audio access to the meeting via telephone, residents can call +1 (669) 900-6833, (888) 788-0099 (toll free) or (877) 853-5247 (toll free) and dialing the same Webinar ID listed above when prompted.
Residents can have comments read into the record by the city clerk during the meeting by email to [email protected] prior to 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
In other business
* In recognition of its community members who identify as a part of the LGBTQ plus community, the Town Council is also set to approve a resolution to raise the Rainbow Glag at town flag poles for the month of June in honor of Pride Month.
According to City Attorney Robert Ewing, the council will also review the town's commemorative flag policy during Tuesday's meeting and will consider issuing a policy that states that flying commemorative flags represents "an expression of the town's official sentiments."
He added that the flying of a commemorative flag would need to be requested by a member of the council itself and that a flag will not be flown longer than 31 days.
* Later, town officials are also set to review a report analyzing Danville's Street Lighting and Landscape District.